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New True Crime Drama Des Starring David Tennant Begins Tonight

New True Crime Drama Des Starring David Tennant Begins Tonight

ITV's much-anticipated new true crime drama Des starts tonight (Monday 14 September) at 9pm, starring David Tennant as serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

The three-part series will air nightly until 16 September and tells the story of Dennis Nilsen, one of Britain's most infamous murderers.

So it'll be a cheery watch, then.

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The drama also stars Line of Duty's Daniel Mays as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, while The Crown's Jason Watkins plays Nilsen's biographer Brian Masters.

The real life Nilsen died on 12 May 2018, aged 72, and was a serial killer and necrophile believed to have brutally murdered at least 12 young men and boys between 1978 and 1983.

He was arrested by police in 1983 after a plumber responded to complaints made by Nilsen and other tenants about the drains at 23 Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill, London.

The plumber, named Michael Cattran, discovered a flesh-like substance and a number of bones.

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Credit: Full Sutton Prison
Credit: Full Sutton Prison

Nilsen reportedly told Cattran when confronted with the discovery : "It looks to me like someone has been flushing down their Kentucky Fried Chicken."

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David Tennant True Crime Drama Des To Premiere On 14 September

However he was investigated and ultimately came clean to officers after initially feigning surprise - according to Laura Foreman's Serial Killers.

He reportedly told police: "It's a long story; it goes back a long time.

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"I'll tell you everything. I want to get it off my chest. Not here - at the police station."

Once there he confessed to 15 murders, although 12 have been accounted for.

He was convicted on six counts of murder and two of attempted murder, with a recommendation he serve at least 25 years behind bars. This was then upgraded to a whole-life tariff.

Of the new drama, ITV's Head of Drama, Polly Hill, said: "David Tennant is going to be brilliant as Dennis Nilsen and with Daniel Mays as Jay and Jason Watkins as Brian, this has an incredible cast to bring this story to screen and we are delighted to be making this with New Pictures for ITV."

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Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

For Tennant, the role follows his performance in Channel 4 mini-series Deadwater Fell, about a doctor whose family are murdered in a fire.

The actor has remained a regular on TV screens, in spite of Covid lockdown: he's also narrated BBC nature show Spy in the Wild this year, as well as appearing in Staged- a six-part comedy that was set during lockdown and used video conference technology.

This new show, though, looks like he'll making a return to the gritty dramas that he has become revered for.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: TV and Film, UK Entertainment, ITV